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Stop Overthinking, Start Living: A Simple Guide to Processing Your Feelings and Moving On

Updated: Mar 4

Dealing with negative circumstances in our lives often leads us down two paths: overthinking everything (that's rumination) or getting super analytical about our feelings (hello, intellectualization). At first, these might seem like good ways to cope, but they keep us from getting over things and moving on.

This week, let's dive into why these strategies might do more harm than good.

Rumination is like being stuck on a mental treadmill. You keep reviewing the lousy stuff, but you're not getting anywhere. Your brain is stuck in a loop, repeatedly replaying all the negative things. This doesn't help you solve anything; it keeps you in a bad mood and stops you from seeing a way out. It's you trying to negotiate a different outcome that isn't coming.

Intellectualization is a bit fancier. It's when you try to think your way out of feeling bad, treating your emotions like a puzzle to solve instead of feeling them. It sounds clever, but it's just a fancy way to avoid your feelings. You might feel like you're dealing with your problems by understanding them logically, but you're missing the vital step of working through your emotions.

Both of these habits stop us from facing our feelings head-on. Accepting and dealing with our emotions is critical to moving past them. When we dodge our feelings by overthinking or overanalyzing, we're not doing the real emotional work we need to heal and grow.

And here's the kicker: avoiding emotions doesn't just slow down our emotional healing; it also gets in the way of taking good care of ourselves. Authentic self-care is about looking after ourselves, including our messy emotions. By getting stuck in cycles of rumination or hiding behind intellectualization, we miss out on the chance to learn from our feelings and become stronger, more resilient people.

So, breaking free from these patterns is super important. It's not always easy, but it starts with being mindful of when we fall into these traps and choosing to face our feelings instead. This shift from avoiding to facing our emotions can make a huge difference. It helps us heal, grow, and handle whatever life throws our way with a little more grace and a lot less stress.

Here is a simple guide to a different way!

Processing Feelings
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